Celebration of Life Set For Sharon Ann Dawe

Sharon Ann Frank McIndoo Dawe

Sharon Ann Frank McIndoo Dawe, Shaawaatgeigei, Tlingit/Tsimpsian,  daughter of Kaagwaantaan, granddaughter of Deisheetaan,  was born November 10, 1963, in Sitka, to Albert Frank Jr. and Velma Faber, and walked into the forest on December 12, 2022, after a long struggle with two liver diseases. She was 59.

Her paternal grandparents were Albert Frank Sr. and Daisy Johnson Frank of Angoon, and Steven and Sadie Faber of Metlakatla. She was the youngest of five siblings Kathryn, Donald, Barbara and Albert. Her childhood family was later extended with the marriage of her father to Marilyn Joy Frank, and siblings Lakota, Travis and Robert Lyel. Shaawaatgeigei’s youngest sister, Dollina Ketah, completed the family in 1966.

During those years she was part of the even larger Japonski Island “family” and was one of the original Gaa Jaa Heen dancers, and singers. She learned the ways and Tribal traditions of her Tlingit clans, and Lakota teachings from Mother Marilyn, Inyan Ska Win, as she traveled with the family to South Dakota. In her sophomore year she moved from Sitka to Angoon, where she graduated high school.

She gave birth to her son Byron Jack Jr. in 1981, and son Loren Sands in 1985. She traveled, and lived in Alkalai Lake, British Columbia, and Washington State, before eventually returning to Angoon.

In 1997 she became a grandmother to Candace Jack, and remained in Angoon until her youngest son Loren went into the military in 2004. She lived in Kake for several years, and returned to Sitka in 2008. 

Her connections were many. She worked for Sitka Tribe of Alaska as an associate tribal judge and tourism assistant, and for Sitkans Against Family Violence as an advocate, and instructor. At the Center for Community she was a Supportive Living Training Assistant. She also guided tours for Alaska Native Voices and eventually joined SEARHC as an Administrative Assistant.

Over the years, she also made connections as a volunteer in the community, teaching traditional Tlingit arts in beading and sewing, creating robes, headbands, vests, jewelry. She taught and conducted, as Drum Keeper, in the original Haa Too Wu Latseen drumming group, and then as keeper of the Haa Shaagoon Drum, where she taught many, many people, young and old, to sing and drum.

She volunteered at the SAFV shelter where she worked to help women in Self Determination and Positive Choices. Sharon continued to volunteer to teach the artistic skills she inherited from her people, and her greatest pride were her 13 grandchildren, and great-grandson Edward Dean Allen. To her grandchildren Candace, Cassidy, Alexandria, Jordan, Byron III, Mya, Keon, Kylie, Karis, Kasen, Kaiden, Loren III and Leihela (aka Honey Bear) she was known as “Munga.”

In 2016 her art was featured in the Sitka Historical Society Museum, and it still can be seen there today.

She is survived by her sons Byron Jack Jr., Loren Sands, and grandchildren; her aunties Alberta, Cynthia, Helen; her Uncles Wally Sr., and Peter Frank; her siblings; and her husband, the love of her life, Alex Dawe. 

She created community and contributed a lot to the town of Sitka, willing to help, volunteer whenever asked.  She is remembered fondly as a beautiful, proud Tlingit and Tsimpsian Woman, seen walking through town, through the woods, over the bridge, waving and sharing her beautiful smile and witty sense of humor with everyone. 

She will be missed and remembered by many, and her teachings will be passed on for generations to come.

A celebration of the life of Sharon Dawe will be held 2 p.m. May 27 at the Sheet’ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi community house in Sitka. All friends and family are welcome.

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